Here is the list of questions that we are frequently asked about Tibet train travel. If you still have more questions, just feel free to contact us. A quick answer from our Tibet travel specialists will be sent to you within 24 hours.
Why train to tibet?
Though getting to Tibet by train takes much longer than by plane, you will witness thousands of miles of unforgettable stunning landscapes that you will never see from a plane window. And this is why Tibet Railway has been the first choice for most travelers to Tibet.
Where can I take a train to Tibet?
There are 7 cities in mainland China which having trains to Tibet. They are Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Chengdu, Chongqing, Xining and Lanzhou. And all the trains pass through the world highest railway, Qinghai-Tibet Railway, from Xining to Lhasa. You can check the detailed Train Schedule for more information.
How long in advance should I reserve my train ticket to Lhasa?
For most Chinese trains, the tickets reservations are 10 days in advance. However, trains to Tibet are always popular and hard to get. According to our experience, you'd better book your train ticket 3 or 6 months before the departure day. The earlier booking, the better guarantee.
What kinds of ticket classes can I choose?
There are three classes of cars on Tibet trains that are Soft-sleeper class, hard-sleeper class and hard-seats class. However, the hard-seats cars are not recommended to foreign passengers. Since it is a really long journey to reach the roof of the world, it will be more comfortable and enjoyable for you to take sleeper classes.
What’s the difference between the soft-sleeper cars and hard-sleeper cars?
The biggest difference is that soft-sleeper cars can content only 4 passengers in one cabin but hard-sleeper cars have 6 in one. With a cabin's door (can be shut for privacy), soft-sleeper cabins offers more private space than the crowded hard-sleeper cabins. But for those who like making friends, hard-sleeper cars can offer them more chances to communicate with other passengers, both Chinese locals and travelers from all over the world.
Is there any Dining Car on a Tibet train? What kinds of food to be offered on board?
Yes, there is one Dining car in each train to Tibet, offering three meals a day. For meal time, the Dining car may be a little bit crowded. But in other time, it is really a good place for you to have a cup of tea and enjoy the amazing passing-by outside scenery.
For breakfast, the Dining car offers both Chinese and Western style food. For lunch and dinner, there are just Chinese dishes. The menu on board is really basic.
After running into the Tibetan Plateau, the Dining car will stop offering noodles for meals. Instant noodle cups and some other kinds of snacks are sold on board. But all the food and drinks are more expensive than usual.
Should I prepare some food before getting on the train?
Since the only Dining car is always crowded at meal time, and just offers Chinese dishes at lunch and dinner, it is necessary for you to bring some snacks and instance noodles on board. Hot water is provided 24 hours on board and totally for free. So it is more convenient to have some instant food on board.
Although there is an attendant with a snack cart who travels from car to car, selling snacks, instant noodle cups, fruit and bottled water, the prices are always higher than usual. So you can buy some food in local market and bring them on board.
Where can I get food on board?
Having meals on the Dining Car. There is one Dining car on each train to Tibet, offering three meals a day. For Breakfast, it offers both Chinese and western style food. But there is only Chinese food for lunch and dinner.
Purchasing from the trolley on board. Train attendants will push the meal cart going through the train, selling box lunch, fresh fruit, clips, instant noodle cups and other snacks. A lunch or supper package, including three Chinese dishes, will cost you about 20 CNY.
Buying while the train stopped at one of the stations. Tibet trains will stop at some major stations during the journey. And it may be an interesting experience to jump off and quickly shop for food from the vendors on the platforms. But trains usually stop for few minutes, so you need to be quick or you may lose your train. Remember to prepare some small changes.
Where can I get boiling water on board?
In each car of Tibet trains, there is a hot water dispenser opposite to the public sinks. Boiling water is offered 24 hours every day and totally for free. And in each compartment of soft-sleeper cars, there is a thermos for passengers to store the boiling water.
When you are getting hot water from the dispenser, please be careful to avoid be hurt by the boiling water as the train sometimes may shaking when driving.
How to release high altitude sickness on board?
In fact, it is a good way to gradually get used to the high altitude by taking a train to Tibet. Only when passing Golmud, especially passing through the Tangula Mountain, will some passengers get light headache or some other high altitude sickness.
Actually, there are two kinds of oxygen supply systems on every Tibet train. When passing Golmud, oxygen will be piped into the train's cabin. And there are individual oxygen outlets everywhere on board. So you will less uncomfortable as you thought on board.
Are there electric outlets on the train?
Yes, there are two electric outlets in every car. You may recharge your cell phone, camera or use your laptop computer on board.
Is there hot water supply on the train?
There is a 24 hours working hot water supplier in each car of Tibet trains. The hot water dispenser is opposite to the public sinks. When you are getting hot water from the dispenser, please be careful to avoid be hurt by the boiling water as the train sometimes may shaking when driving.
And in each compartment of soft-sleeper cars, there is a thermos for passengers to store the boiling water.On trains to Tibet, there is also hot water for passengers cleaning or washing something at sink area.
Where can I store my luggage in the cabin?
If you are in a soft-sleeper cabin, you can put your suitcase down below the bottom bunks. And there is also some space for luggage up above a ledge of the cabin’s door.
And in hard-sleeper cars, luggage has to be kept down below the bottom bunk.
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